The First Year In Review - Win Some, Lose Some

July, 1990

ACCESSIBLE TRANSIT IS HERE

The Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) and the Regional Transit Commission (RTB) announces lift equipped mainline buses will go into service this month on two routes.  Though it will take up to 12 years to make the system 100% accessible, proponents see this start as signaling the best of all possible worlds.  Others wonder what the same investment would have done for the door-to-door service.

RTB FORUM HIGHLIGHTS CONSUMER TRANSIT CONCERNS

The RTB held a series of meetings to inform consumers of future plans and hear concerns.  ACCESS PRESS attended these meetings and reported on the plans and fears riders have about possible negative changes.


August, 1990

SPENDDOWN FIASCO

Changes in State Medical Assistance (MA) and the earned income disregard may cause recipients to lose homes.  Department of Human services said the change must be made to bring State into compliance with Federal law.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA) PASSES

In a Senate vote 91-6, July 13th, 1990, the ADA was passed.  President Bush said he will be delighted to sign the bill.  A celebration of the event took place at the Minneapolis Convention Center July 17th, sponsored by The Access Minnesota Project, a program of the Minnesota MS Society.


September, 1990

SSI CASH BENEFITS MISS 50% OF ELIGIBLE MINNESOTANS

Thousands of low-income older Minnesotans are eligible for cash benefits from the federal Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI).  Most just don’t know about it.  ACCESS PRESS tells you why.

POLITICAL INQUIRY

ACCESS PRESS asked the political candidates to tell us their views on Affordable Housing.  We got some very interesting answers.


October, 1990

GOVERNOR’S AWARDS

The Governor’s Award on Technology assistance for individuals with disabilities was created to recognize Minnesotans who develop specific technological assistance.  Recipients were nominated by their peers.  Nominations were judged on uniqueness, replicablity and size of population served by the technology-related assistance.


November, 1990,  CLOSING THE GAP

A report on the conference “Closing the Gap” held in October.  The conference is designed primarily as an information exchange among professionals in the areas of special education and rehabilitation.  It consisted of 20 day-long workshops, 175 individual hour-long presentations and 120 exhibitors over a three day period of time.  Many individuals with disabilities benefited from seeing the extensive displays of new products.

SISTER KENNY COLUMN

Doctors from Sister Kenny explain the components of physical medicine and rehabilitation.  Important information for people with disabilities.


December, 1990

PETER McLAUGHLIN

A profile about new Hennepin County Commissioner from district 1 (the district south of Sears).  After three terms in the State legislature Mr. McLaughlin runs and wins commissioners seat.  Read about his views and vision for the county.

MINNESOTA RELAY SERVICE

Breakthrough in technology helps break a communication barrier.  The Minnesota Relay service gives hearing impaired Minnesotans the opportunity to communicate with “regular” phone users and vice versa.

HEARING DOG PROGRAM

Minnesota based program trains dogs to assist hearing impaired individuals to live independently.  The dogs are trained to be owners best friend and aid in daily living.

WAGE PROTEST

Representatives of ARRM (Association of Residential Resources in Minnesota) marched in front on the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) in protest for better wages.  Wages for private employers are set by DHS and are lower than State run residential facilities.  ARRM is seeking equality for State employees.


January, 1991

WORLDS LARGEST 1991

SPORTING EVENT 

The Eight International Special Olympic Games for athletes with mental retardation will be held in the Twin City area July 19 – 27.  The games will be the largest sporting event held in 1991 and the largest international multi sport event ever held in Minnesota.  Some 6,000 athletes from nearly 90 countries will be supported by 2,000 coaches, 10,000 family and friends, and nearly 30,000 volunteers.

VINLAND NATIONAL CENTER

Vinland takes a holistic approach in helping people with disabilities take charge of their lives.  They offer employment programs, chemical dependency programs, and youth programs in a scenic rural setting at Lake Independence in Loretto, Minnesota.


February, 1991

INDEPENDENCE KEY GOAL FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED

Many programs are available for the visually impaired in the Metro area.  ACCESS PRESS profiles a cross section of these organizations:  Minneapolis Society for the Blind, Minneapolis Society for the Prevention of Blindness, and the Preservation for Hearing, The National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota, the Minnesota State Services for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (SSB), and the SSB’s Communication Center.

HEALTH CARE ACCESS

Minnesota Health Care Access Commission delivers their final report on the state of health care in Minnesota that seeks sweeping recommendations for improvements.  Highlights from the Minnesota Health Care Commission’s final report can be found in this issue.


March, 1991

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Low cost housing is a major concern for people with disabilities, it can be the key to independence.  Long range planning is remarkably absent at national and state levels.  ACCESS PRESS profiles several organizations trying to fill the need.

ST. PAUL COURT HOUSE

Ramsey County Board opposes full wheelchair access in renovation plans.  St. Paul City Council recommended full accessibility while preserving the historic City Hall/Court House. 


April, 1991

FUNDING FOR METRO MOBILITY SYSTEM DEBATED

The RTB offered up a fare increase and service cuts apparently as a gesture signifying their desire to cooperate with threatened budget short-falls.  Concerned Metro Mobility riders rallied on March 11th at the capitol rotunda to make their concerns known to the legislature. 

I. KING JORDAN

The president of Gallaudet University received the National Courage Award for outstanding contributions and leadership on behalf of people with disabilities.  The award honors citizens who have displayed courage in meeting and overcoming a disability and who has served as a symbol of courage to others.  President Jordan excels on both counts.


May, 1991

EMPLOYER BENEFITS

Employers find disabled workers to be excellent choices.  Accessibility is a minor problem, loyalty and ability major pluses. 

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

Rules and regulation for people with disabilities who want to go to work and  plans they offer, with explanation on why you should use them.